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    Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ’N’ Tasty PS4, Review

    Remakes are a tricky thing, that’s for sure. Hollywood has been saturating the market with reboots for what seems like eons now and we’re all tired as hell of them, while the games world has only recently embraced the idea full-on in the last couple of years with a slew of rejigs across multiple gaming platforms.


    For the most part it has been the publishers who have sought to take classic titles and simply add a little high definition spit and polish in a bid to cash in on the nostalgia factor, but Just Add Water has eschewed that already tiresome method in favour of a complete rework and thankfully it’s  worth every single one of your hard earned pennies. With that in mind, publishers and developers please take note: this is what we all expect from a remake.

    So, what’s changed? Nothing. And that’s the beauty of this redo because, while aesthetically it’s never looked better, the base mechanics of the original game are all present and accounted for. Why tamper with a winning formula and run the risk of crippling the experience? While there have been a number of other Oddworld titles on the shelves over the years, New ’n’ Tasty is (technically) the first in the series so the storyline is pretty basic, albeit delivered with aplomb. You play as Abe, a slave in a meat processing factory who discovers his entire race is about to be put on the menu in order to boost lulling company profits. Naturally Abe isn’t too pleased, so he tries to escape and take as many of his friends with him as possible. This is pretty much where you come into play, guiding the goofy alien through a puzzle filled, side-scrolling adventure fraught with danger.

    The original was pretty brutal at times, but that difficulty spike has been toned down ever so slightly to accommodate today’s temperamental player thanks to the inclusion of an endless supply of bottle caps that can be used to distract enemies. However, if you’ve never experienced the joys of the original, the set up is simple and inspired by the likes of classic platformers such as Mario and Flashback. The basis of New ’n’ Tasty is to guide Abe over pits, dodge spinning meat cleavers and
    partake in a little bit of stealth to bypass enemies thanks to a nifty tiptoe function that’s mapped to the shoulder button.

     

    While Abe’s pretty useless in a fist fight, he can control certain enemies using his mind to guide them into meat grinders or prompt them to turn their guns on one another. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not quite. Because the deeper you progress through the game you’ll find yourself harnessing all of these abilities, while trying to guide other fellow aliens through the perilous environments using a series of commands. These commands are mapped to the D-pad and fellow escapees can be told all at once to stop or follow Abe with the simple tap of button. And yes, for those of you that remember, you can still make farting noises if you’re so inclined.

    One of the things that made the original so gruelling was the fact that there were times when you could spend an endless amount of hours repeating certain sections of the game. Nobody likes doing that, but if you’re a hardened game fan then it’s par for the course. Still, the developers have gone out on a limb and addressed this and we’re not entirely sure we approve of it. New ’n’ Tasty features a dearth of checkpoints compared to the original as well as a quick save option, which is conveniently mapped to the PS4’s touchpad. Using it feels a little like cheating having played the original, so we’d recommend calling on it only when absolutely necessary. And that would be never.


    Have we mentioned yet just how good Oddworld looks? Everything, and we mean everything from title screens to the countless signs dotted throughout the game world has been redrawn and reanimated to take full advantage of the power of  the PS4. The end result is a game that’s even more vibrant and filled with character than it was in its original form, which essentially makes New ’n’ Tasty the remake to beat in our books.

    Of course, it’s not without its faults. Controlling Abe can be irksome at times and that proposed co op mode is misleading; it is in fact an alternating two player option. But still, it’s a small price to pay for an astonishingly good update of what is essentially almost a 20 year old game. Welcome back, Abe. Welcome back.

    9/10

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